Friday, August 29, 2008

Our trip to "Holland"

It was 6 years ago today that we found out Caleb had Down syndrome. When he was born we had no idea, it even surprised the doctors who in the first day didn’t notice any signs. I remember one of our nurses handed me a pamphlet with a short story about a trip to Holland. Every year Justin and I remember this special day when we really discovered how special our Caleb is to Heavenly Father. Not that all children aren't special, but some have more challenges than others in this life and I believe it's because they were exceptional spirits in the premotal life. This story gives me strength during those hard times but also gives me hope to know that Justin and I have one of Heavenly Father's choice spirits. Enjoy the story!


Emily Perl Kingsley.

I am often asked to describe the experience of raising a child with a disability - to try to help people who have not shared that unique experience to understand it, to imagine how it would feel. It's like this......

When you're going to have a baby, it's like planning a fabulous vacation trip - to Italy. You buy a bunch of guide books and make your wonderful plans. The Coliseum. The Michelangelo David. The gondolas in Venice. You may learn some handy phrases in Italian. It's all very exciting.

After months of eager anticipation, the day finally arrives. You pack your bags and off you go. Several hours later, the plane lands. The stewardess comes in and says, "Welcome to Holland."

"Holland?!?" you say. "What do you mean Holland?? I signed up for Italy! I'm supposed to be in Italy. All my life I've dreamed of going to Italy."

But there's been a change in the flight plan. They've landed in Holland and there you must stay.

The important thing is that they haven't taken you to a horrible, disgusting, filthy place, full of pestilence, famine and disease. It's just a different place.

So you must go out and buy new guide books. And you must learn a whole new language. And you will meet a whole new group of people you would never have met.

It's just a different place. It's slower-paced than Italy, less flashy than Italy. But after you've been there for a while and you catch your breath, you look around.... and you begin to notice that Holland has windmills....and Holland has tulips. Holland even has Rembrandts.

But everyone you know is busy coming and going from Italy... and they're all bragging about what a wonderful time they had there. And for the rest of your life, you will say "Yes, that's where I was supposed to go. That's what I had planned."

And the pain of that will never, ever, ever, ever go away... because the loss of that dream is a very very significant loss.

But... if you spend your life mourning the fact that you didn't get to Italy, you may never be free to enjoy the very special, the very lovely things ... about Holland.

Monday, August 25, 2008

My oldest

My sweet Caleb turns 6 years old today! I cant believe he's already 6! The time has flown by. Today I thought about so many things I love about this boy. Here's just a few...

-He loves his family. His little face brightens when he sees me or Justin. It's such a great feeling every time I see him smile.
-Lately, he's been picking a favorite toy to play with. He plays with it for most of the day and likes to sleep with it at night. It's usually an animal of some sort. It's fun to see his imagination working!

-This boy loves mirrors. If he walks by a mirror and catches a glimpse of himself, he'll start talking to himself in his own little language. It really is super cute!
-He loves his Daddy. Whenever Justin comes home he signs 'Dad!' He always wants to wrestle with Justin and Gunner. He'd probably do this for hours if they let him!
-He loves to dance to a good beat. It's so fun to watch him dance. He'll often go around in circles and jump up and down. He's already a big fan of SYTYCD & Dancing with the Stars!
-Caleb is so sensitive to the spirit. There have been times that I've been having a hard day and for no reason, Caleb will come up to me and give me a hug and a smooch then run away and play again. I know it's simple, but to me, it makes me tear up every time!

Here's a few of my favorite pictures of Caleb growing up. This one is when Caleb was 5 months old. This boy was an angel baby. He never cried, loved to nurse and slept through the night at 8 weeks!This one was taken when Caleb was 9 months. He still loves trucks and cars to this day!This was Caleb's 1st birthday. He didnt really like to eat his cake. He just more wanted to play in it. He also loved clapping and hearing everyone applause for him!
My baby at 18 months. Wasn't he such a cutie? Still is!
This picture has always been one of my favorites. This shows Caleb's personality. He was 2 here and constantly loved to play peekaboo!
We love you Caleb and hope you have a great birthday!!

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

A few firsts...

I'm so late on posting this but Caleb's first day of school was July 28th. So early, I know! He completely loves going to school, riding the bus and meeting all his new friends in his class. Here's a few pictures of him getting ready to go:

His teacher, Ms. Martin, is so great. We absolutely LOVE her. She tells me Caleb is the KING of Kindergarden. Lots of his little friends like to learn signs from Caleb and it just melts my heart that he has several friends!

Gunner started Preschool on August 5th and is loving it already. He loves his teacher and all his friends. This is him on his first day! (Thanks for the picture Rachael!) 

I cant believe my kids are so old! What happened to my babies?
Speaking of babies, I decided it is officially time for her to start on solids, since the last time was just a trial run. So far so good, but she often gives me this face when eating.
Hopefully, it will get a little easier and she'll actually enjoy eating...something her Mommy enjoys a little too much!

Then, here are just a few cute pictures of my kids being kids. Gunner found this and calls it his tent. He has to sleep with it over him at night. He tells me "It keep me safe from the storm Mom! I sleep in my tent!"

Then last week I'm putting the boys to bed and Gunner says, "Mom, I need to sleep with Caleb to keep him safe" so I thought, 'okay, we can try this', it probably wont end well, because both my boys are rollers and kickers and night! But oddly enough, they both went right to sleep. It was super cute!
Also, Bree has started to roll over. She's gotten the idea to roll from back to tummy, but not the other way around. Before I know it, she'll be running all over the house! Anyone want to invent a potion with me to keep our kids little like this forever???

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Breaking Dawn....spoilers ahead!!!

So I finished the book last night around 1am and I totally loved it! For those that haven't finished the book yet, you might not want to read any further until you've finished...


These are just my opinions so dont get mad if you disagree. :) It's all good!

First of all, I did not see it coming that Bella would get pregnant. I mean, I knew her dreams would lead to something about a child, but that was a shocker for me! It was neat that she had a girl instead of the little boy she dreamed about. It kind-of made me think of myself when I thought for sure that I was having another boy and turns out we had a girl so I could relate to Bella's feelings at that moment. :)

I also liked how Bella and Rosalie became friends. I liked how Rose was her "bodyguard" and protected Bella's want and need to have the baby. Go Rosalie! 

I really loved Jacob's book. I don't consider myself a Jacob fan but I have to say, I felt for the guy! Having to lose the one you love and then coming back to her to protect her because he still loved her, well that's devotion. I actually was kinda mad at Bella for wanting Jacob around so much. I mean, she broke the guy's heart by marrying Edward now, can you just leave him alone and quit torturing him? Talk about chewing him up and spitting him out!

And Jacob imprinting on Renesmee...I'm glad that he is happy and will be able to be with her for the rest of their lives, but imprinting on a baby? I know Stephanie Meyer did that in Eclipse (or was it New Moon?) with Jacob's friend, but is that still just a little creepy to anyone else? Imprinting on a baby??? And yes, I know Renesmee grows quickly and will be mature in a few years, but really??

Even though I'm not a big fan of Bella, I like that she had the most powerful gift of all. How she could shield her family from the dangers of the Volturi's guards...well I thought she was pretty cool stuff. 

I didnt like how it ended so quickly. As I was reading the 38th chapter, I thought, there's no way she (Stephanie Meyer) can sum it all up in just one more chapter. Plus, I actually wanted to see Bella fight the Volturi! It was all building and building with more tension and I was actually disappointed that they didnt fight. Instead the Volturi running off like cowards...that was kinda  my opinion. Also, the whole J. Jenks thing was a bit off for me too. I thought it was going to be some huge insight, some major clue that Alice gave Bella, instead it was just to get illegal paperwork for Nessie and Jacob? I get it, I do, in case the vampires were obliterated, Jacob and Nessie would have to leave the country, but for the excitement building about this special clue that Alice gave to Bella, in such a secret way, well, it just didnt have the shock value that I would have hoped for. All in all, I still love the book. These are just a few little quirks that I needed to vent about.

Anyhow, I'm sad the whole thing is over. I LOVED loved L-O-V-E-D these books. I liked escaping to this magical world of fantasy, romance and suspense. Kudos to Stephanie Meyer for all her magnificent writing ability. 2 big thumbs up!

Friday, August 15, 2008

Still alive...

...and kicking! I haven't posted in a while...not that anyone really noticed (ha ha) but I thought I'd just do a quick post to say "I'm still here!" 

And yes, if you haven't guessed it yet already, I am reading Breaking Dawn so that is why I havent been able to post in a while! I'm reading it slowly because I want to soak it all in! I read the other books really fast and I think I missed a bunch of stuff, that's why I had to re-read them all twice...(I am a Twilight freak, I know)...and I have 3 kids now instead of 2 so it makes it a little bit tricky to sneak away and read. I only can read at night and usually as soon as I sit down, 30 minutes later, I'm sleeping! 

So (long story short) I have about 200 pages left and then I cant wait to post about a few of the highlights...for me at least! And I cant wait to discuss it will all the other Twilight fanatics out there!! 

P.S. I love Edward!!! (Dont worry, Justin is still #1!)